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When you’ve listed a property in need of minor cosmetic TLC, you can help potential buyers envision a new coat of paint or additions to the landscape fairly easily. Such inexpensive changes can usually be done by homeowners themselves, but it’s a different story when a property needs several repairs or remodeling.

How do you know when to steer buyers to a handyman or contractor, or suggest that they rely on their own DIY skills? In general, it depends on the type and extent of the work needed. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Professional contractors have the kinds of specialized equipment needed to do a job safely and correctly. Few homeowners have the safety equipment on hand to do extensive roof repairs, for example.
  1. Roofing, plumbing and electrical work take more than basic knowledge. Structural changes in particular should be left to professionals because they can affect the integrity of the entire structure.

Local codes. Homeowners can certainly find building code documents that pertain to their location, but contractors have the expertise to understand just how codes apply to each job and how to ensure compliance.

  1. Permitting requirements vary greatly from location to location; in some areas, even the simplest projects may require a permit and a follow-up inspection.
  1. Extensive projects may require several different subcontractors. It takes time to vet each one and coordinate all of their schedules. Plus, certain projects (such as a kitchen renovation) can take months to complete, even for professionals.

Gregory Johnson is vice president-national sales manager for Contractor Connection. He brings more than two decades of business development and leadership experience to the company, where he leads the evolution of its insurance channel and consumer platform.

For more information, visit